Seventeen-year-old J.W. and 18-year-old D.A. had been dating for almost six months when J.W.’s mother, Ms. W., learned about their relationship. Because she disapproved of her daughter dating another woman, in December 2007, Ms. W. petitioned a Florida court to get a restraining order to prohibit any contact between the two.
Ms. W. admitted in court that she was seeking a restraining order only because she did not want her daughter to have a relationship with another woman. Even though no one argued that there was any violence in their relationship, the trial court issued a restraining order, saying that the mere existence of a consensual relationship between D.A. and J.W. was “dating violence” under Florida law. In January 2008, NCLR filed an appeal on behalf of D.A. asking the court to dismiss the restraining order, and arguing that the trial court could not issue a restraining order where there were no accusations of violence. In June 2008, the appeal’s court reversed the trial court’s decision and dismissed the restraining order.